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Listing A Father On The Birth Certificate Does Not Necessarily Establish Paternity

Many couples believe that whoever is listed on the birth certificate as the father, is the father. While this is mostly true for married couples, it is not always true for unmarried parents. If a child is born to a married woman, it is presumed that the father of the child is her husband, unless a paternity action is pursued and shows otherwise.

At The Dixon Law Firm, PLLC, attorney Alicia Dixon works one-on-one with clients to help them establish paternity. As your advocate, she works to ensure you understand your rights and obligations under Florida law. This area of law is a focus of her legal practice.

The Difference Between A Legal And Biological Father

It’s important to know and understand the terms used regarding paternity in regard to Florida family law matters. These include:

  • The biological father is the man who provided the sperm or half of the child’s genetic material.
  • The legal father is the man whom Florida law recognizes as the child’s father.
  • Paternity refers to the rights of the father of a child.
  • The putative father is the man who is believed to be the father. For example, when a man and woman are married, the putative father is the man married to the woman.

Things can become complicated, however, if the parents are not married, got married after the child was conceived or got divorced after the child was conceived but before the birth. Establishing legal and biological paternity of a child has benefits for the father, the mother and the child.

Why Establish Paternity?

Paternity is very important to establish for several reasons. While a father who has established (or acknowledged) paternity will have certain obligations – including possibly paying child support – he also gains access to certain rights, such as visitation or custody. Establishing paternity has a life-long impact on the parents and their child, regardless of whether the mother and father have a continuing relationship. Attorney Dixon helps clients determine how to pursue or respond to a paternity action. Any parent who is uncertain as to the paternity of a child during the divorce process would be wise to seek legal counsel.

Get The Knowledgeable Guidance And Support You Need In Paternity Matters

Establishing paternity is an important step in family law proceedings. Attain the representation and guidance you need to fully understand your rights and obligations under Florida law. Call 561-853-2214 to speak with attorney Alicia Dixon regarding your specific situation. You can also connect via this website’s contact email form. With an office in Boynton Beach, attorney Dixon serves clients throughout South Florida.